Immigration officials in the United States announced on Tuesday that one of the 25 people who surrendered to US authorities last month at the Texas-Mexico border after protesting about immigration policies has been deported.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement claims that a judge decided that 23-year-old Rocio Hernandez Perez was not eligible for immigration relief, though no further explanation has been given. Leticia Zamarripa, a spokeswoman for ICE, says that Perez was “removed from the country,” with the El Paso Mexican consul for protection, Raul Garcia, having also confirmed that Perez was deported back to Mexico City. “She is no longer here and we are heartbroken,” says one of the other detained immigrants, Israel Rodriguez, speaking from the detention centre in a phone call.
The 25 detainees have been living in the United States for many years after having been brought there while they were children and now want to be able to return. They are among the immigrant group known as Dreamers, a reference to the Dream Act bill that would give permanent residency to those students who were brought to the United States illegally as children.
The detainees’ lawyer, David Bennion, says that he hopes that 17 of the detainees that have completed the first step in the asylum process, the “credible fear” interviews, will be released on parole soon. Bennion says that the two primary factors that are taken into consideration before releasing such detainees are if they are dangerous, or a flight risk, neither of which are applicable here.